The biggest tremor is coming.
It appears the Big One will hit Tuesday, when the University of Texas board of regents meets to discuss the Longhorns' conference affiliation. Texas is a candidate to move to the Pac-10, which took Colorado from the Big 12 on Thursday. Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also are candidates to move to the Pac-10. Texas A&M is being courted by the Pac-10 and the SEC.
We are heading west on Tuesday. Another highly places source says it is true, so you know it is the gospel truth.
The Horns and Aggies are not going to the Big Ten. Kent Hance knows this.
"That is not true," Chancellor Kent Hance said to KCBD NewsChannel 11 after learning of the report from Kansas City. "I have been assured by UT and A&M that it is not true."
It is a great time to join the PAC-10.
Think if these teams had been aligned the last 10 years. An OU-USC conference title game in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Texas-USC in 2005. OU-USC in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
In those seven seasons, OU played in three BCS title games, USC played in two and Texas played in two. In the last seven seasons, USC, OU and Texas have accounted for half the BCS title-game spots.
Now, it appears any road to a BCS title game is a little smoother for the Sooners and Longhorns. The Pac-8 winner won’t be easy, should the Pac-16 stage a title game. But Oregon or Cal or whoever doesn’t figure to be the caliber of the Carson Palmer Trojans or the Matt Leinart Trojans.
It’s the best possible scenario for OU and Texas to join the Pac-10.
Someone is following us.
California, here we come.
The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are headed for the Pacific-10 Conference, perhaps as early as next week, but they will wait until the University of Texas declares its intentions, a variety of sources said Friday.
NewsOK has an interesting timetable on how we got to this point.
The Big 12 minus 2
This could all get very, very messy.
According to the league's handbook, Big 12 schools must give two years' notice and forfeit 50 percent of their conference revenue if they intend to leave.
Those buyouts increase if schools leave within the two-year window. That shouldn't be an issue, since Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott declared during a press conference Thursday that competition in an expanded Pac-10 wouldn't begin until 2012.
Still, the buyouts could become problematic and lead to severe infighting in the league's final two years of existence.
Kansas State president is just sure that the Big 12 will not dissolve.
Does he believe the Big 12 will dissolve altogether?
Schulz: I do not. We're going to see an initial round, with a school or two, that's going to take an invitation, and there will be some period of recollection, and time to think about what everything needs to happen. I think we will know in the next couple of weeks.
Someone wants to throw the Big 12 a life preserver. Only one man can save the day.
The dismantling of the Big 12 Conference is happening too quickly and too secretively for our tastes and, more importantly, for the state of Texas' own good.
Enough! A collective deep breath is in order for all concerned.
We suggest a formal timeout. We recommend that it be called — soon, please — by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Why Gov. Perry? In Texas alone, hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private money are riding on the decisions being discussed. As governor, Perry's duties straddle those two worlds. He is the right person to insist that this important debate be fully transparent and that all voices be heard.
Thanks to Infield Elephant for the photo.
It is those people in California. It has nothing to do with us.
''If A&M doesn't go, Baylor's got a window to go," the official said. "(Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech) -- none of them have anything against Baylor. We're not opposed to Baylor, and we've said positive things about them."
But, the official continued, "The schools on the West Coast just don't see the benefit of Baylor. The Pac-10 is talking more about Kansas and Utah because they bring different (television) markets. Baylor's been lobbying everybody around Texas. They need to be lobbying California."
Baylor's AD makes a statement.
President (Ken) Starr and I have repeatedly stated that we fully support the Big 12 Conference and want to see it continue and prosper. We also said that we think it is very important that the four Texas Big 12 schools remain aligned in the same conference. We want you to know that President Starr and I are continuing to work tirelessly and around the clock to preserve the membership of the Big 12. To the people of the state of Texas, the Big 12 contributes powerfully to our economy.
Where else are you going to go? Missouri is still committed to the Big 12. For now.
Relegated to a sideline seat for the first wave of college sports’ conference shake up, officials at Missouri said Friday they remain committed to the Big 12.
For now, anyway.
"We have obligations to our Big 12 Conference, first and foremost," said Missouri system president Gary Forsee. But he added that conference realignment is "a nine-inning game"—and it’s still the first inning.
But...Kansas and Missouri to the MWC?
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State are on the Mountain West's radar amid a continuing shakeup of the Big 12.
Commish Dan Beebe is working overtime.
Numerous reports Friday indicated that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could be just a few days out from jumping to the Pac-10 as well. Texas A&M is reportedly mulling over a decision to join the Southeastern Conference or the Pac-10.
Beebe, however, is hoping the remaining 10 Big 12 schools stay intact, as he's spoken the remaining institutions and said exactly that.
"We're working fast and furious to make sure they're convinced this is the place they should be," he said.
This isn't Dan's fault.
K-State president Kirk Schulz said Thursday, though, he doesn't want the blame to fall on Beebe or the Big 12 office. This problem the conference is now faced with rests on the member institutions that were open to a move, Schulz said.
"If somebody calls and says, 'Kirk, we want you to apply at University X,' there are several answers I can give them," he said. "One I can say is, 'Oh, I'm really interested.' Another is that we need to talk some more. The third is to just say, 'I have no interest whatsoever, I love being were I am.'"
"There is absolutely nothing coming out of the SEC on this. This is as
locked down as I’ve ever seen them. That should make some people
nervous because Slive is one of those "speak softly and carry a big
stick" kind of guys." - Tony Barnhart of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
This can't be good. A&M is thinking. If they don't make a decision, then they may lose out.
The Aggies may not have much time. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was en route from Colorado to the states of Texas and Oklahoma with invitations in hand, a source familiar with the process told the Dallas Morning News. If the Aggies cannot commit, the Pac-10 is prepared to invite Kansas and its great basketball tradition. While the Jayhawks are desperate to find a landing spot, they would have to leave in-state rival Kansas State, a potential political problem.
The Aggies and the SEC are a good fit.
Such a move would push the league into Texas (great for recruiting), grow ratings in Top 10 markets Dallas and Houston (great for CBS and ESPN), and up the league’s academic reputation (great for SEC presidents). A&M already has natural rivalries and history with Arkansas and LSU as well.
A&M fits with the SEC from cultural, academic, and athletic standpoints. Unlike many of the potential expansion partners for the SEC, the Aggies also bring a lot of new value to the table.
If the SEC has to expand, A&M would appear to be the best case scenario at this point.
The Ags should listen to Tommy. He's been there.
"Well, they’d better really, really think about it before they cross those borders, and cross the Mississippi River, because it’s a totally different type of football, different brand of football, a different type of recruiting. You gotta really be careful as to what you are getting into."
"I think A&M is now big enough to stand on its own. We don’t need to piggyback on Texas." - A&M regent Gene Stallings
It is tough being the little brother.
So Texas A&M is making noise about going to the SEC. Regent Gene Stallings — who would be regarded as a double agent if his character wasn’t so pristine — is pulling for the Aggies to walk away from the proposed Pac-10 expansion and go to the Southeastern Conference.
You can understand A&M’s feelings. The Aggies don’t like to be told what to do by an arch-rival. Texas is calling the shots and has put together this conference expansion. So whereas Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have sort of shrugged their shoulders and let Texas do all the heavy lifting, A&M takes a little umbrage.
I Am The 12th Man is drinking the maroon kool-aid again.
The Big Ten plus 2
Bo Pelini is one happy guy.
"This beautiful girl, quite honestly, wasn't going to be there
forever." -- Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany welcoming Nebraska
into the league.
That's right, Jim. The beautiful girl is heading to the PAC-10. You get her not-so-pretty best friend.
Someone should tell Tom Osbourne. It really is all about the money.
"If you’re positive that a network can make 80 cents a subscriber in its footprint — then all of a sudden, if your footprint is double what it was going to be, and includes the West Coast states and the state of Texas, you’re talking about a considerably larger network," said Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports and a television consultant.
Universities are realigning and seeking millions of dollars because they and college athletics in general are under extreme pressure to generate revenue.
"In light of the economic crisis in higher education and intercollegiate athletics, conferences are being looked at and expected by our membership to maximize revenues," Benson said. "This is all about maximizing revenues at the top."
It's not me, it's you. The Cornhuskers don't think they did anything wrong.
There's a ton of blame to go around. Much of it intertwined.
Texas didn't want to give up the rights to broadcast its games and possibly pursue the option of a Big 12 Network, for obvious reasons. They're the only team in the league who could pull off their own network, even if it was a longshot.
Missouri perhaps gazed too longingly at the Big Ten, hoping to join, fostering more instability in a clearly unstable league.
And though Texas couldn't promise to stay if Colorado and Missouri left, Nebraska staying would have made it a much more viable option and an easier sell for commissioner Dan Beebe.
But Nebraska blinked first -- and to their benefit. They don't have a responsibility to help their Big 12 North brethren. As the Husker brass, and other athletic directors, have repeated ad nauseum, their responsibility is to do what's best for their university. Moving to the Big Ten was their best option.
There are lots of contradictions.
Concerns over increased --and more difficult -- student athlete travel?
"We may have to fly a little more, the connections will be a little bit better," Osborne said. "We will not spend any more time on the road -- maybe less."
You're just mad about the conference's shift to the South, Tom!
"You don’t make a decision of this size based on where you’re going to play the Big 12 championship game," Osborne said. "That’s not even an issue."
So what happens when Nebraska's recruiting trail in Texas stops being beaten?
Osborne admits they may lose a few recruits in Texas, but they won't stop recruiting the state, and have now gained access to states like Ohio. And with more national broadcasts -- even in nonrevenue sports -- on the Big Ten Network, they may be able to recruit the oft-mentioned Sun Belt more than some people realize.
The super conference is here.
At 3:24 pm ET, college athletics changed forever.
That cannot be understated -- at all.
Super conferences, start your engines.
The Horned Frogs have ursaphobia.
Mountain West Conference sources confirmed that the league is sending out feelers to Big 12 members that may be left out in any continued conference shakeup, most notably Kansas and Missouri.
Kansas State would be another option. Baylor, however, would not be.
On the same day the Mountain West officially added Boise State, sources said TCU will lobby the conference against Baylor's inclusion should the Big 12 school be left out of the impending conference realignment.
Notre Dame isn't budging.
"We continue to be focused on trying to do what we can to maintain our football independence and ensure the long-term viability of the Big East," Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick told the Chicago Tribune yesterday. "Those two things aren’t impacted by the events of this week."
Translation: All this change is not scaring the Golden Domers one bit. That was the boldest move for the Big Ten, and not even all the upheaval could make Notre Dame budge.
I don't even know what to say about this.
The money quote from Osborne: "One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference, breaks up a conference. We have not had a hidden agenda, we have not dealt with more than one conference."
T.O. intimated that Texas has been talking to the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-10.
It was a bad day for Texas' reputation. It was a good day for Nebraska's future.
Boise State is now an official member of the MWC.
Our new friends in the PAC-whatever
USC is pointing fingers and Alabama doesn't like it.
Alabama is denying claims that the school illegally contacted a Southern Cal player in the wake of sanctions handed down by the NCAA.
ESPN.com reported Friday (read the story here) that USC true freshman running back Dillion Baxter told the Trojans' compliance director that five schools -- Alabama, Florida, Fresno State, Oregon and Washington - contacted him Thursday.
Justice is served. Should the SEC celebrate?
So the NCAA finally slaughtered the sacred cow at USC. That’s cause for a league-wide barbecue in the SEC, but it creates a dilemma at the giddiest outposts.
In Tuscaloosa, they could build a statue to Committee on Infractions chairman Paul Dee, if they could overlook that Bookgate vacation.
In Auburn, they could roll Toomer’s Corner and fire up a fleet of John Deeres for what should rightfully be another national championship celebration.
In Knoxville, they could tear down a goalpost in Neyland Stadium and march it down Cumberland Avenue. They won’t get many other opportunities anytime soon.
There are few things on heaven and earth that can bring the fan bases of Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee together like karma crashing into Lane Kiffin.
USC still keeps that 2004 AP national championship.
The Trojans are having a fire sale!